Thursday 23 November 2017

More calls for RTÉ to consider selling part of its Montrose site

The RTE campus at Montrose
The RTE campus at Montrose

Philip Ryan and Peter Flanagan

The chairman of the Oireachtas Communication Committee has urged RTÉ to seriously consider selling off some of the land surrounding its headquarters in Donnybrook.

Mayo TD John O'Mahony said he agreed with a government report that said almost 40pc of the national broadcaster's Montrose campus was not being properly used and should be sold.

Have Your Say: Do you think RTE should sell part of its Montrose site?

The RTE campus at Montrose

"RTÉ has indicated all options are on the table with their financial issues and I think they have to be, that's the reality of it," Mr O'Mahony said.

"I wouldn't imagine they would go somewhere else as all of their infrastructure is there, but if they can sell some of the assets to address the financial issues, they should. The Government had to do it, so why shouldn't they."

If RTÉ sold off its headquarters, it could make between €150m and €200m, according to property industry experts. But the sale of its base would leave them looking for other premises to meet its specific requirements.

"RTÉ would have to fork out well over €100m for a suitable city centre office block, and that is before fitting it out to their requirements," a source said. "Even after that, it would still need space elsewhere to film the likes of 'Fair City'.

The alternative would be to take industrial space on the outskirts of Dublin, say market watchers. "TV3 is located in a business park in Ballymount, west Dublin. RTÉ could do the same," said an industry source.

"Industrial property would probably offer the best value for money."

Irish Independent

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